Powelton Village: Neighborhood Meeting Discusses Drexel Proposal

Drexel University has been a source of destruction of historic Powelton Village properties, but has recently taken steps to reverse the damage.
Powelton Village Civic Association President Mike Jones and Zoning Chair George Poulin told members of Drexel’s plans.

In the Metropolitan Baptist Church, located at 3500 Baring St., the Powelton Village Civic Association held its monthly meeting on Monday. The meetings, which are held to allow residents and volunteers to voice concerns to office holders to help them find a solution, occur every third Monday of the month except July and August.

This meeting consisted of Powelton Village Civic Association Zoning Chair George Poulin informing residents of a new proposal by Drexel University. Drexel University has proposed to create new student housing on 34th Street and Lancaster Avenue. Although Poulin repeatedly said that his information in speculation at this point, Drexel is holding a meeting with the PVCA board members on Nov. 28, he did give some details on the property.

The new student property will be a 1200 bed development with 20 to 30 floors created with American Campus Community, a popular company for student apartment-style campus housing. The residents expressed concerns about the building of the property, but Poulin pointed out a positive aspect of the arrangement.

“This will be good because having that building will pull students out of the neighborhood and onto the campus,” Poulin said. “And it pulls more commercial business to Lancaster Avenue because there is talk of retail being put in on the first floor.”

Joan Weiner, a Drexel official and Powelton resident, said the reason for the new student housing is Drexel plans to increase enrollment.

“Drexel wants to ensure that it is capable of housing the expansion of students,” Weiner said.

While the proposal is being talked over, Drexel has set up a model of the apartment-style bedroom on campus and anyone can come and check it out.

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